Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Rickey Henderson Gets Steal 800

On April 9, 1989, Hall of Famer Rickey Henderson steals base number 800 for his career, in the New York Yankees 4-3 loss to the Cleveland Indians.

Henderson was a left fielder who played in Major League Baseball for nine teams from 1979 to 2003, including four stints with his original team, the Oakland Athletics.

Nicknamed "The Man of Steal", he is widely regarded as the sport's greatest leadoff hitter and base runner/ holding the record for most career leadoff home runs with 81, and winning three Silver Slugger awards in 1981, 1985 and 1990. His 1,406 career steals are almost double the previous record of 938 by Lou Brock, and just under 800 more than the current active leader in stolen bases, Juan Pierre, who has 614.

Oakland Athletics great Rickey Henderson, the "Man of Steal," after breaking Lou Brock's record of 938 steals.
Henderson is the all-time stolen base leader for the Oakland A’s and previously held the New York Yankees' franchise record from 1988-2011.

He also holds the major league records for runs scored and unintentional walks.

Henderson also holds the single-season record for stolen bases (130 in 1982) and is the only player in AL history to steal 100 bases in a season, having done so three times.

A 12-time stolen base champion, Henderson led the league in runs five times and was among the league's top ten base stealers in 21 different seasons.

Henderson was named the AL's Most Valuable Player in 1990, and he was the leadoff hitter for two World Series champions: the 1989 Oakland A's and the 1993 Toronto Blue Jays.

At the time of his last major league game in 2003, the ten-time American League (AL) All-Star ranked among the sport's top 100 all-time home run hitters and was its all-time leader in base on balls.

His 25-year career elevated Henderson to the top ten in several other categories, including career at bats, games, and outfield putouts and total chances.

His high on-base percentage, power hitting, and stolen base and run totals made him one of the most dynamic players of his era.

He was further known for his unquenchable passion for playing baseball and a buoyant, eccentric and quotable personality that both perplexed and entertained fans.

Once asked if he thought Henderson was a future Hall of Famer, statistician Bill James replied, "If you could split him in two, you'd have two Hall of Famers.

In 2009, he was inducted to the Baseball Hall of Fame on his first ballot appearance with 94.8 percent of the vote.

The Oakland Athletics also retired Henderson’s no. 24 jersey in 2009.